Search engine optimization, or what’s commonly known as SEO, has been around since the mid to late nineties. However, with the constant and rapid changes in the digital world, so has the demand and use of SEO changed as well. These days, SEO mainly revolves around the Google algorithm, but it pre-dates the famous search engine, as we trace back its roots to the birth of the first website in 1991.
Presently, SEO has become an essential tool for businesses when it comes to boosting website traffic and expanding their reach. Through a combination of strategies and tactics, many well-known brands, through their websites, have grown their audiences by ranking high on search results pages of popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This high placement on search engines significantly affects businesses, whether big or small. After all, people tend to look at and trust websites that appear on the first two to three pages of their search results.
What Is Search Engine Optimization for Small Businesses
Now that we’ve gone over how SEO functions, in a nutshell, let’s try and understand what it means for small businesses. Firstly, SEO doesn’t only help large companies with sophisticated and hi-tech websites. SEO services for small businesses are also available for those startups and small to medium enterprises that want to create high-ranking websites with user-friendly and robust features. How can search-engine-optimized sites help small businesses grow at rapid rates?
Here are some of the things you can expect when you apply SEO to your website:
- High-ranking websites tend to bring in potential customers, which in turn increases conversion rates of leads to sales.
- SEO increases brand awareness and gives companies an edge against other brands that do not use SEO, especially if the website lands on the first page of a search engine’s results page.
- SEO helps small businesses establish a substantial presence on the web, which allows them to get ahead of their non-SEO savvy competitors
What Can Businesses Get From SEO Services
Apart from ranking high on search engine results, SEO can also help your brand become more efficient in terms of customer engagement and service. Here are some of the more specific benefits you can get from SEO services:
- Have a more user-friendly website
- Fast-track business growth by connecting and engaging with new customers
- Expand your scope by being able to penetrate new markets
- Get better conversion rates.
- Boost brand awareness by placing high on search results rankings
- Get into email marketing and start building a loyal fan base.
- Stay posted on the latest SEO developments that you can apply to your website.
- Stay ahead of your competition.
- Have a business that’s accessible to the public 24/7
- Develop better social media marketing strategies
SEO might seem like a challenging aspect to tackle if you are new to all of these. If you want to implement a successful SEO strategy, it is also worth-considering working with SEO experts that can help you understand how all these elements apply to your small business.
How Can I Apply SEO to My Small Business Website
If you’re the type who’s hands-on with your business, including overseeing content creation and web development, there’s no harm in familiarizing yourself with the basics of SEO. As a small business owner, SEO doesn’t just apply to your webpage content. You can also use it on your blog posts, Facebook content, YouTube posts, Tweets, Instagram captions, and more. Here are some tips that you can follow to make your business more SEO-friendly:
- Register for a Google My Business account.
- Claim your brand’s physical location on Google Maps, if applicable
- Extensively research and apply relevant keywords in your posts.
- Optimize your meta descriptions, page titles, and subheadings.
- Optimize your images as well.
- Observe Google’s search results in your specific niche and try to copy what your high-ranking competitors are doing.
- Avoid basing your SEO tactics entirely on Google’s algorithm as this changes unexpectedly.
- Create a blog and create optimized content regularly.
- Don’t overdo the keywords. Learn about keyword density for your posts.
- Create timeless posts, also known as “evergreen content.”
- Use URLs that are also related to your content.
- Encourage customers to write online reviews about your business or products.
- Sign up for a Google Analytics account to get real-time information about your website.
- Always strive to write unique content that will make you stand out.
- Build relevant links through directory sites and online testimonials.
The tips listed here aren’t all of your options. However, these are some tried-and-tested ways that will boost your brand’s visibility on the web. If you want to dive deeper into any of these, you can always do your research to find out what’s best for your business.
Is SEO Still Worth It in 2020
Now that you are aware of what you stand to gain with SEO, the next question is this: “Is SEO worth it?” For you to answer this question, it is vital to keep in mind that SEO is not a magical solution for your brand’s pain points, nor is it an instant fix to your business concerns. The truth is that SEO is both an art and a science that requires the ability to identify trends, patterns, and potential risks. Adaptability, from the business owner’s end, is necessary for it to become effective long-term.
With that said, some people think SEO is irrelevant in 2020, especially when Google’s algorithm is continuously changing. Others now prefer paid advertising than using SEO to gain organic results. Depending on what you want to get out of SEO, you can quickly answer the question previously posed. If you’re not just after high page rankings, you can benefit a lot from using SEO. Applying it doesn’t only teach you to boost your website. It teaches you to be mindful of your content by using the most relevant information and keywords, and by creating content that adds value to your customers.
Indeed, there are many other ways that your small business can benefit from SEO. There is no harm in trying and seeing the results for yourself.